England's X Factor favourite Cheryl Cole has been ditched from the US version of the show and replaced by Pussycat doll singer Nicole Scherzinger.
The former Girls Aloud singer has previously admitted to being daunted at the "really scary" prospect of breaking America and to having doubts about the move.
She told Fearne Cotton last year: "It's kind of really scary, you know? Why would they give a beep what I thought? I think I always feel like that. They don't know me out there and I've got this weird accent and they'd be a bit like, 'what?'."
Filming of the series began two weeks ago and it has not yet appeared on TV.
Insiders at the show, owned by Simon Cowell, said there were serious concerns that an American audience would not be able to understand her strong Geordie accent and that she had not developed a good on air rapport with fellow judge Paula Abdul.
On May 5, when her appointment was confirmed, Cheryl Cole (27) said she couldn’t wait to get started. Her mentor Simon Cowell said: “I’m thrilled for Cheryl. She is massively excited about this show.”
According to the US gossip website TMZ, Cheryl, who signed a £1.2m contract earlier this month, was informed that she was being sacked yesterday. The X factor team was unavailable for comment today.
TV executives in the UK now hope that she will return to the British version of the show, which she quit to start a new life in America.
However, she is reportedly so upset that she is now considering dropping out of the talent show altogether. Members of Team Cheryl have told newspapers that she came to a mutual decision with producers to leave as she was so homesick in Los Angeles.
Pussycat doll Nicole Scherzinger, girlfriend of Forumula 1 driver Lewis Hamilton, has previously been a guest judge in the UK X Factor. She now joins Simon Cowell, Paula Abdul and record boss LA Reid on the panel.
Early brushes with fame for the young dancer - then known as Cheryl Tweedy - included appearances in local modelling competitions and in television adverts.
Everything changed when she auditioned for television show Popstars: The Rivals in 2002 and became one of five members of Girls Aloud.
The group became an instant hit with their debut single, Sound Of The Underground, going straight to number one.
Hit followed hit and they even attracted a grudging respect from the critics, being nominated for best British group at the Brit Awards in 2009 and winning best British single for The Promise.
But Cole attracted publicity of the wrong kind in 2003 when she punched toilet attendant Sophie Amogbopka in a Surrey nightclub.
The jury cleared her of racially aggravated assault but found her guilty of assault.
She was sentenced to 120 hours unpaid community service and ordered to pay her victim £500 compensation.
It could have ended her career but she went from strength to strength and saw her public profile rise when she married England footballer Ashley Cole in 2006.
The marriage, which saw the pair likened to the Beckhams, did not last and they announced their separation last year.
By then her career had reached new heights, thanks to her role as a judge on the UK version of The X Factor, plus her blossoming solo chart career which saw her score a number one with her single Fight For This Love. She was voted the sexiest woman in the world in FHM magazine's annual poll.
The move to the US X Factor looked set to send her career to another level but now it appears she may be coming home sooner than expected.